Are You Ready for A Point of Sale Technology Refresh?

How to know it’s time and what to look for.

By: Ingram Micro

Point of sale (POS) systems are among the most fundamental technology systems any retailer owns. But like any common technology, it’s easy to take POS systems for granted, assume the technologies are still the latest and greatest, and forget to upgrade them.
If your retail customers haven’t updated their POS tech recently, they might be surprised by how sophisticated contemporary POS systems are—and what new capabilities they can offer. Rather than simple payment systems, today’s POS systems offer a wide range of automated tools that can further streamline business processes and improve the customer experience.
Experts and industry leaders recommend evaluating your point-of-sale technology every three to five years—or even more frequently, as needed. Why?
Working with a system that has not been updated means a retailer may not be able to perform certain types of transactions, and can even expose the business to security threats, like cyberattacks.
How you know it’s time to upgrade
To decide if it’s the right time for a POS tech upgrade, retailers should take a look at whether or not they have capabilities not being met by their current POS system. They should also consider processing time and any recurring errors and malfunctions that may be slowing them down. If they are dealing with any of the following issues, it’s likely time for a change:

  • Inventory issues: It can’t track inventory from multiple stores in one location. It can’t handle growing inventory levels or inventory counts are unreliable.
  • Data processing issues: It doesn’t update data in real time. It doesn’t provide detailed reports, report comparisons or enough filter options.
  • Access issues: It doesn’t give you access to the right data. It lacks sufficient user rights.
  • Operation issues: It isn’t cloud-based. The online and offline channels operate separately. It doesn’t connect with current accounting systems.
  • Security issues: Business and consumer data are vulnerable to attack.

Your POS tech upgrade checklist: what to look for
If your retail customers are working with dated POS systems, they might be surprised to learn the features that newer systems offer. POS system experts have outlined a list of the basic and more advanced tasks that a robust POS system should have the ability to perform, including the following:

  • Calculate accurate payments for every transaction
  • Record payment methods
  • Track money in the cash register
  • Maintain credit card security and EMV compliance to avoid fraud liability
  • Create regular sales reports
  • Integrate the full range of payment processing (including cash, checks, cards, gift cards and refunds)
  • Determine proper labor and payroll numbers
  • Maintain inventory data (including import/export, work orders, special orders and purchase orders)
  • Track sales data in real time over multiple locations
  • Customize the application platform interface (API) to create a POS that matches your business needs
  • Provide information on repeat customers
  • Offer mobility and cloud access to support parking lot sales, trade shows and other off-site events
  • Track CRM data (including customer sales history, customer accounts, customer types and customer lifetime value, loyalty programs)
  • Provide backing and support from an experienced vendor that offers responsive service and 24/7 live support

“Retail and all of its sub-sectors are in a great position to better utilize POS technology for overall safety, network security and workflow efficiencies,” said Bruce Smith, senior solutions executive, DC/POS and payments, Ingram Micro. “Additionally, mPOS has seen tremendous growth with increased opportunity and initiatives through 2022; and in the grocery segment, the self-checkout model continues to transform the shopping experience and retailers’ profitability.”